"Dissecting a violin body"
Opening: Wednesday 30 October, 6 - 8pm
Dates: 30 October - 23 November, 2019
This series of works investigates how the violin can be conceptualised as a surrogate body. This metaphoric relation is embedded in the terminology of the violin as its components are referred to as the belly, back, ribs and neck. Yet, Violins are not simply mute bodies, they are bodies that can speak. As one of the many devices that humans have developed in order to communicate with one another, through non-linguistic means. The creation of a violin opens up a space of potentiality, a physical site from which non-rational communication can occur.
This line of research was catalysed by a visit to my sister’s luthier studio in Glasgow, where she showed me a partially carved violin belly, the precise curvature of which would create the potential for sound. After returning to Melbourne, I stumbled across an open source book online called ‘The Art of Violin Design’ by Sergei Muratov. In this book Muratov charts the various curvatures of a violin body, looking at Stradivarius violins in particular. He picks apart the body of a Stradivarius, attempting to discover the source of its esteem, and the means of its production. This analytical and devoutly empirical approach positions the physical body of the violin as the site from which all information about it can be extrapolated. This exhibition opens up the violin body to investigate what intangible associations it might possess.
Katie Ryan is a visual artist, working predominantly through sculpture, installation and video. Born in Ireland, she has been living and working in Melbourne, Australia, since 2013. Her work is concerned with modes of understanding, looking in particular at the connection between language-based cognition and embodiment. Ryan explores how our physical and emotional experience of the world shapes our systems of knowledge and ways of reasoning.
She completed a Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours at The Victorian College of the Arts in 2017. Ryan is currently on the programming committee at KINGS Artist-Run Initiative. She has exhibited at Bus Projects, KINGS Artist-Run, Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Fortfivedownstairs, Crowther Contemporary, The Counihan Gallery and The Margaret Lawrence Gallery.